Although he’s often closely associated with the Lone Star State since taking up residence in Dallas,Texas in the early 90’s, vocalist/guitarist Shawn Pittman is actually an Oklahoma native. Pittman was born in the small town of Talihina and raised in Cleveland County, Oklahoma. At eight years old he began taking piano lessons under the encouragement of his mother,but later began sneaking into his older brother’s room to play on his drum kit. By age fourteen,he had switched to guitar and was soon introduced to the mysterious sounds of Lightnin’ Hopkins and Muddy Waters by Bracken Hale , a good friend and member of his seventh grade football team. Their friendship would prove significant as Hale would later collaborate with Shawn on writing material for many of his albums. He was also turned on to Elmore James and Albert King by Tulsa native and early guitar mentor Bernard Bigby.
Pittman moved to Dallas when he was seventeen and attended Booker T Washington High School for the Performing and Visual arts. He later dropped out ironically, because he was failing his guitar class. He picked up his music education courtesy of his uncle who would take him over to the Schooner’s Jam in Dallas where he first met Hash Brown,Mike Morgan, David ‘Bottlehead’Miller and was able to jam with players like Sam Myers. His first album was ‘Blues from Dallas’ was recorded in 1996 and later picked up and retooled for his national debut in ’97 as ‘Burnin up’ on the short lived Cannonball Records label. His second Record ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ was produced by Jim Gaines (Stevie Ray Vaughan,Steve Miller, Santana) and followed in ‘98. Pittman toured briefly with Susan Tedeschi in ‘99 just long enough to make an appearance on the Conan O’brien Show.
The following year he relocated to Austin,TX and recorded his third record with Double Trouble called ‘Full Circle.’ In 2004 he added a much more experimental album called ‘Stay.’ After a much needed break form 2005-2008, Pittman returned to performing and made a plan to record one album per year. By mid-2010 he had already five independent releases under his belt! This flurry of activity eventually led to a new recording contract with Delta Groove and plans were set in motion to record yet another album.
“Edge of the World’ marks Shawn Pittman’s tenth release and contains an inspired program of original material by an accomplished singer,songwriter and guitarist, recalling all the vintage tones and ambiance of the great blues recordings of the 50’s and 60’s. Even more astonishing is the fact that Shawn plays virtually every instrument on the CD, handling everything from vocals and guitar, to bass,drums,and piano on top of doubling as the album’s engineer! Special guest Jonathan Doyle (Mighty Blue Kings, Jimmy Sutton’s Four Charms, West Coast Shivers) represents the album’s only other personnel by contributing tenor and baritone saxophone on four songs. When asked to comment about the songs on the record Pittman stated “I’m just playing the music I want to hear.”
Jeff Scott Fleenor
Delta Groove Productions and radio host of “The Blues Disease” radio program – www.kuci.com